Class Rank Issues!

<p>I go to an extremely competative high school in California, where there are approximately 50 National Merit Scholars out of a class 450 students every year, and the average SAT score is 1930. </p>

<p>Our school officially doesn't rank, yet still provides deciles to colleges. I have a 3.89 Weighted GPA from my freshman to junior year, which results in me being put in the 30-40% decile just missing the 20%-30% decile (4.024-3.905)</p>

<p>I have an extremely stong upward trend in my GPA, with a 3.56 GPA my freshman year, a 3.93 GPA my sophomore year, and a 4.2 GPA my junior year. I am headed for for a straight "A" senior 1st semester (4.6 GPA) </p>

<p>How badly is this shabby class rank going to affect my chances at competative colleges? Do private colleges know better than to scrutinize a class rank affected heavily by poor freshman grades? Thanks for your feedback.</p>

<p>It would be great if someone would reply. I am in the same situation! My school has a senior class of about 250 and has about 35 or so National Merit Scholars. This was very unexpected in my class. The class of 2007 only had 16! The median SAT score isn't nearly as impressive as b_hands' (1130 M/R) but to be in the top 20% you need a 1432! (I am taking these statistics from my school profile.) My school doesn't rank either, but I am not sure how the other system works. Though I am not a NMS, or have a 1400+ score (I got a 1370...came close) I am just worried how this other system my affect me. I know all of the NMS students at my school are freaking out now trying to stand out because a student just got a perfect SAT score, perfect ACT, and perfect AP, and a very high GPA, that if my school did rank, he could be #1.</p>

<p>Unfortunately, since top schools often have more than enough applicants with consistently good grades and consequently, excellent rank, people who did poorly early on are much less likely to be admitted; an upward trend is better than a downward trend but usually not enough to really be considered at a top college. This may be different at some places who do not look at freshman grades.</p>

<p>You'll notice if you look at admission statistics for top schools that beyond the top 1%-5%, admission rates start to decrease significantly. You'll also notice that the majority of applicants come from high schools that don't rank; so you would have an advantage coming from a school that doesn't rank.</p>

<p>On the other hand, the fact that you go to a very competitive school may somewhat make up for it; I'm not sure. How many kids does your school send to top colleges every year?</p>

<p>Either way, you might as well apply and see if you do get in; you never know.</p>

<p>GoldShadow is right. First off, your school district or high school is foolish to provide any kind of class rank information with average SAT scores like that. Decile ranking means that schools will still have to report anything out of the top decile to US News, and they won't like doing that. At schools with very small entering classes that take kids from a number of schools that don't rank, a single kid outside the top 10% can reduce their reported kids in the top 10% by 1%.</p>

<p>I don't know why your school/school district wants to put you at that kind of disadvantage.</p>

<p>The Ivy League academic index, which is not the end-all of Ivy League admissions but does track fairly closely with offers of admission, uses class rank as the only criterion other than SAT scores. Paul Attewell, a professor at CUNY, did a study of admissions at elite colleges and found that even dropping from, say, #1 to #5 in a class had an outsized impact on the chances of being offered admission.</p>

<p>The upshot is that it's going to hurt you. Sorry, but that's the truth.</p>

<p>If I were you, what I would do is to look for colleges that are within your own SAT range but have a relatively low number of kids in the top 10% for that SAT range. For instance, the University of Chicago has ~80% in the top 10% of the class but an average SAT score of around 1430/1440. They don't appear to treat class rank quite as seriously as some other schools.</p>

<p>Good luck.</p>

<p>even if your school doesn't rank you... colleges can kinda tell what rank you might be... My son goes to a small but very hard HS and 4 of them have taken every ap and honors class offered with all of them getting one A- total but some having more classes to rank higher.... usually the top 10% at his school has no more than 2 or 3 A- or maybe 1 B and an A-
If you haven't not scored almost perfect each year your rank migh not be real high???
my son's school has less than 250 seniors though so it is larger schools might have 10 straight A kids</p>

<p>indymom: HaHa...we have the almost opposite situation....THere is such grade deflation at our high school that almost everyone in top 10% below #1-4 has decent sprnkling of B's, albeit in all honors/Ap's.....Unweighted averages are abysmal....Hopefully colleges look at hs profile......FYI: graduating class 320....</p>

Yep, just like my school.</p>